Breaking the Code on Fruit Stickers

I just found out this information and had to share it with you! Those little stickers on fruit at the supermarket actually have a worthy purpose! The stickers have a 4 or 5 digit numeric code. So what’s in a number?

It’s the PLU (price lookup) code, developed by the Produce Electronic Identification Board. This code contains pertinent information on how produce was grown.

PLU stickers that have 4 digits and begin with 3 or 4: produce is conventionally grown. This means that this produce was sprayed with weed killers and chemical pesticides.

PLU stickers that have 5-digits and start with 8: produce was genetically engineered and may have been chemically treated.

PLU stickers that have 5-digits and start with 9: produce was raised organically. You can be sure that this produce was not treated with any chemicals.

For example, using this system, a conventionally grown apple would be 4017, an organic banana would be 94017, and a genetically engineered banana would be 84017.

If you see other variations of the code on your produce, check out these sites below for more information about PLU codes.

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